Aspiring Leaders Program

Aspiring Leaders: Innovation & Change, Navigating KU Systems & Structure, Personal Effectiveness, Leadership, Communication, Strategic Thinking & Problem Solving, Professional Effectiveness, Trust & Relationship Building

The Aspiring Leaders Program is a step on the Developing Leaders path on the KU Leadership Roadmap. Underpinning the program is the belief that deep awareness of self is required to be an effective leader. Therefore, participants engage in clarifying their strengths, developing their ability to manage self, and engaging the practice of leadership through a reflective and intentional pursuit.

The program does not address how to supervise and/or lead others. Its focus, rather, is on a multi-faceted learning and understanding of self as it pertains to leadership. Those interested specifically in supervision or more advanced leadership courses are encouraged to consider enrolling in STEP - Supervisory Training for Excellence in Performance 3.0 or applying for the Staff Fellows program.

Program Structure

Participants are required to attend each session in the program. Each one highlights a leadership topic aligned with the university competencies, including personal and professional effectiveness, communication, change management, building relationships, strategic thinking, and problem solving. Sessions also include individual and group discussions and activities, with practical strategies to apply in your own organization.

Participants are also required to devote time outside of the class sessions for reading assignments, engaging with their accountability group, and attending individual coaching sessions. 

Application Process

The application period for the 2025 cohort will open in fall 2024. At that time, the application form may be accessed using the link in the sidebar. A select pool of applicants will be asked to meet with a review committee for a short interview. Following the full review process, a small group will be selected to join the 2025 cohort. 

Applicant Requirements

The Aspiring Leaders program is open to all KU staff members who:

  • have at least one year of employment at KU
  • do not have a formal title of leadership and do not supervise other staff members
  • are recommended by their supervisor and have permission to use work time for program activities
  • commit to attend all sessions and complete all assigned activities
  • demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to their work and aspire to build their capacity as a leader

Materials Fee

The departments of those accepted are required to pay a materials fee of $175.00.

Program Dates

  • The program will run from January - June, 2025. 
  • Classes will take place in-person on the Lawrence campus.

This program is primarily for professional development and leadership growth. There is no stipend for this experience, nor is there an expectation that program participants receive preference in job searches at KU.

Informational Sessions

  • Learn about the program and hear from program alumni at an Aspiring Leaders Informational Session. Registration is requested and should be completed in MyTalent.

  • Sessions for the 2025 cohort will be in held in fall 2024.